The Stockton Asparagus Festival has been an annual event in the asparagus growers’ calendar for nearly three decades.
But one extra aspect of this annual vegetable lovers' get-together is that it has become a mammoth fundraiser for charities...
Asparagus offers up tasty vegetable shoots that can be enjoyed in a wide variety of gourmet meals, superb in curries, casseroles...
A whole range of meal options in fact are possible with the humble asparagus shoot: steamed, boiled or fried. It's also known for its medicinal results including diuretic properties which promote a healthy constitution.
But asparagus: a source of inspiration for fundraisers?
You might not think so but it's true...
The Stockton Asparagus Festival promoting the joys of asparagus in the USA has raised a total of $314,972 for charity this summer alone.
And over the past 27 years, the Stockton Asparagus Festival has donated more than $5.8 million to local non-profits.
A record-breaking 129 local non-profits have benefited from the asparagus-tastic fundraising efforts of the Stockton Asparagus Festival this year.
And more than 100,000 people attended the 27th annual Asparagus Festival this year. It's quite amazing when you think we are just talking about asparagus here...
The 27th annual event involved entertainment and activities including music by the Grammy award winning All-4-One, American Idol finalist Bucky Covington, legends the Average White Band and various spectacular asparagus events including chefs competitions and a 'deep fried asparagus eating competition', sponsored by Bud Light and the California Asparagus Commission.
Other entertainments included circus acrobatic acts and more.
Proceeds from the festival are shared by charities represented by the festival volunteers. Each charity receives a donation based on hours worked by the volunteers.
Non-profits to benefit this year include the Community Centre for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a charity increasing personal independence for those with vision difficulties across San Joaquin County.
The Asparagus Festival is held annually in April and is now thought to be one of the biggest fundraising events in California...
It's a testament to how fundraising for good causes can be built into any community event or interest group...in this case an innovative volunteer programme based around the celebration of asparagus.
Who would have thought it?